New art exhibition tackles the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank

An exhibition of oil paintings by Jewish-Israeli artist Zohar is underway at the An Grianán Theater in Letterkenny.
The Palestinian Paintings, a series of works begun in 2017, address the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.
Belonging to and growing up in Israel allowed Zohar to witness the Six Day War of 1967, the subsequent occupation of the territories, and the continued and increasing displacement of Palestinian citizens.
Witnessing the chaos of brutality inflicted on a civilian population by an increasingly confident and bellicose military power has led him to engage with organizations and movements that attempt to end the inhumanity and persecution.

Born in Kazakhstan in 1945, Zohar is a classically trained painter and former student of the Belzalel Academy in Jerusalem. In a formal and painterly sense, his paintings refer, for example, to 17th-century Dutch painting, but gain contemporary popularity as a vehicle for considering and examining 21st-century cultural, societal and political positions. He has lived and worked in London since 1987.
Zohar’s painting practice has been primarily concerned with the human figure and has included a number of high profile portrait commissions, including Diana Spencer (1990), group portrait The Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, (2006 ) and Lord Browne of Belmont, (2007).
Palestinian paintings are born out of anger and frustration at the continuous and continued fear, humiliation, common fear, humiliation, horror and brutalism experienced by ordinary Palestinians from daily, regular, recurring and current manner.
Ultimately, Zohar left Israel, dissociating himself from that state’s actions and trajectory.
The exhibition is in the Eatery Café of the An Grianán Theater and can be seen during the cafe’s opening hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, from now until June 27.

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Michael A. Bynum